Politics In Spennymoor – Part 2

We could in this blog post be very simplistic by considering Spennymoor Town Council as a single entity. The make up of politics could be described as – ‘us’, the people, the ignoredsocial-class and ‘them’, the do as they like and get away with it. Referring to some who have commented on Social Media – they are all Marxists. Here is not the place to discuss that but I certainly can see the link in words of the proletariat (us the workers) and the bourgeoisie – (those with the power) putting it simply. But it really is far from the reality of politics in Spennymoor. I’d first call into question – do they actually know what party they are or are they doing like many others in the town and wearing the colours of past generations. You can come to your own conclusions and maybe ask questions of yourself as to who you really are politically.

Lets first remember that history speaks for itself with the Liberals introducing the very beginnings of the welfare state and the conservatives in a single parliamentary term being the largest builder of social housing. In the fluid work of political parties, striving for popular policy to win power at the next election, how the times change and what we thought were the values years ago are no longer. The point here to remember is that a conservative of the 1960’s is more than likely to be either liberal or even a Labour party member of today if they stick to their own principles. It is just as easy to say today, that many in the Labour party could quite easily be sat on conservative benches, hence the term ‘Red Tory’.

Lets first look at the 5 Independent Councillors ranging from the pragmatic, non-political, the liberal thinking socialist, the liberal and those accused of being a conservative by a Labour Councillor because of live in a nice house and having nice cars. I know – you really couldn’t make it up.  But why do I come to those conclusions. How would you consider a person who spends hours on end of retirement concentrating on education, law and order in the community, a man intent on addressing the problems with deprived housing? Probably not as a Liberal. I certainly consider his views on social equality in the town as pragmatic and non – political. How would you consider a man who spends many hours with social housing provider ‘Livin’, always attending PACT meetings, a socially responsible person who works for the elderly and the vulnerable. Certainly in my opinion, centre left – a liberal thinking socialist.

Lets now take similar examples in the Labour Group. How would you consider a man who has his interests in Executive Homes, whos interest is in pulling down schools for land development, who stands alongside big business owners and claims Spennymoor doesn’t need a new school. Pretty Conservative thinking to me. How do you consider a straight talking man who talks from the heart, cares for the environment, hands dirty in the community and resigns his post out of personal principles. Probably best placed in the Green Party. How do you consider the men, who strive for power and control, the ones who fund the projects they care for yet turn down full funding of a Youth to go and represent the country in international championships but later stands and demands a fence around a fellow party members football pitch costing an estimated 20 times  that the youth asked for. Does George Orwell spring to mind – “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others” – And we wonder why the term Marxist has been used on social media to describe them. Certainly totalitarian and often coercive.

The dirty world of politics in Spennymoor should be about the community. Not about parties or about colour of the badge. Get to know the person and you get to know if they will work for you regardless of your political views or if they will bang a statement on social media or in the newspaper and run for the hills, refusing to take your phone calls, refusing to answer your emails and refusing you access to decisions they make. The last part in the series will look at Spennymoor as a micro socio-economic bubble. What works, what doesn’t – who wins and who loses. Please leave your comments below and subscribe by clicking “Follow” in the right hand column.


  1. Very interesting read Alan.
    When it comes to politics I very much prefer my Gran’s philosophy – “the truth like water will always find it’s way out” and, “bloody big liars should have bloody good memories.”

    Who we vote for is in my opinion essentially a matter of trust – who would you place your trust in, a self confessed career politician or a straightforward honest individual with principles who would not do anyone a bad turn ?


    • We can both drink to that Pauline. I recall a town hall meeting a couple of years ago about my views against lies from Councillors and I still stand by my words in that meeting. I hate lieS with a passion and those that do need to be rid from all political life.


  2. I would agree with you that there has always been a strong authoritarian streak in the Labour Party. One of the main problems is that Spennymoor has been a one party state for a very long time and this lead to arrogance and complacency on the part of the local labour party. It was not until 1991 that there was a sizeable non labour representation for Spennymoor on what was Sedgefield District Council. Even then it was fragile and four years later after the election of Tony Blair as PM they were swept away. It took until 2003 when 5 Liberal Democrat councillors were elected to Sedgefield Borough Council out of 11 councillors in Spennymoor (including myself). Since local government reorganisation which led to the abolition of Sedgefield Borough Council and the creation of the Unitary authority it has become even harder to get independent councillors elected.
    Local labour politics was dominated until fairly recently by the coal mines and the people who worked in them. But as new generations who have never seen a coalmine never mind had to work in one reach political maturity this connection has all but disappeared.


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